OIT News – February 2016

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 100, February 2016


Follow OIT on Twitter @NCStateOIT
For up-to-the-minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State Help Desk


01: eduGAIN provides campus users access to international services
02: Bring your cloud service ideas to the IT Community Exchange on Feb. 25
03: It’s Data Privacy Month: Guard Your Privacy!
04: Central IT extended maintenance scheduled for March 5-6
05: Save time in Google Drive
06: Master OIT workshops to become a Google Apps pro!
07: SAR training scheduled for March 16
08: Guard your privacy offline!


01: eduGAIN provides campus users access to international services
NC State students, faculty, staff, and researchers can now use their Unity credentials to authenticate to international educational services via eduGAIN.

NC State is leveraging its InCommon participation via Shibboleth to offer campus users single sign-on convenience to 40 international federations in the eduGain global inter-federation service. eduGain provides single sign-on interaction with international higher education institutions, research organizations and corporate service providers. eduGAIN brings the same benefits as those provided by InCommon but on a global scale. NC State campus users will have access, where authorized, to:

  • online journals and databases registered with participating federations
  • collaborative services offered in various countries by virtual organizations
  • international tools for analyzing and sharing data
  • educational services offered via other national federations

For more information, see InCommon.

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02: Bring your cloud service ideas to the IT Community Exchange on Feb. 25
The campus IT community is invited to come to the next IT Community Exchange (ITComEx) on cloud services on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Room 3210 of Talley Student Union.

The exchange will include discussions on the following topics:

If you plan to attend, please register via Classmate. Seating is limited.

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03: It’s Data Privacy Month: Guard Your Privacy!
Before you leave home to come to work, you might turn off your lights, unplug some electrical appliances, arm your security system or even lock your doors to protect your property against a fire, break-in or other mishap. If you have a mobile device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, laptop), you might store it safely away in a carrying bag to prevent damage. But, what other measures can you take to safeguard your device, your data and your privacy?

OIT is sponsoring two presentations during Data Privacy Month, which runs Jan. 28 to Feb. 28, to help you protect your privacy.

  • What’s Your Cybersecurity IQ? will be held on Thursday, Feb. 18 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 202 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Learn what it takes to keep your valuable information safe in cyberland. In this interactive session, you’ll learn tips to create better passwords, add layers of security to your accounts, avoid phishing attacks, and more! To register, visit Classmate.

  • Benefits of 2-Step Verification will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Register for this one-hour session to learn more about how this security feature can protect your online accounts. You will get an overview of 2-Step along with detailed instructions to enable this tool. Participants will have the option to set up their accounts with 2-Step Verification during this session. Those who are interested should bring a mobile device to complete the process. To register, visit Classmate.

Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Month is held annually to empower campus users to protect their privacy and to control their digital footprint. It also stresses the protection of privacy and data as everyone’s priority.

For additional activities occurring on campus, see the Data Privacy Month 2016: Guard Your Privacy website.

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04: Central IT extended maintenance scheduled for March 5-6
On March 5-6, OIT will perform extensive system maintenance, such as data center improvements that require the shutdown and movement of equipment, hardware replacement and infrastructure configuration. The extended maintenance window will run from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday.

OIT services may be degraded or unavailable for extended periods during this maintenance window. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • MyPack Portal
  • Human Resources, Financial and Student systems
  • DELTA WolfWare (Moodle, Mediasite, Collaborate, and WolfWare Classic)
  • Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)
  • WolfPrint services
  • Hosted systems
  • Networked Attached Storage (NAS) shares and exports
  • Backup services
  • Web Services

This maintenance was initially scheduled for Jan. 23-24 but was rescheduled due to inclement weather.

Other planned extended maintenance windows that can possibly impact IT services include:

  • Saturday, April 2, 2016, through Sunday, April 3, 2016
  • Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 through Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016

For scheduled system changes and updates, see the Change Management Calendar or visit SysNews. If you have any questions, contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.HELP (4357).

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05: Save time in Google Drive
If you are looking for new ways to manage your time, use some of these timesaving features that Google is rolling out to Drive users this month.  

  • Use instant Comments and Mentions in Google Docs online and with mobile devices

    • Simply highlight content or hover over the edge of your Google Doc page to activate the Comment icon.
    • Select the Comment icon to enter your text.


    • Start typing the name (with the first letter in caps) or email address of an individual directly into the Comment area.
    • Select the individual’s name from a list of contacts you want to receive your comments.
    • Click the Comment button to send notification with your comments to that person.

You no longer need to include a plus (+) or an at (@) sign in front of the person’s name or email address to send your comments.

  • Organize your files and folders in Drive with shortcut buttons
    In Drive, select items from Search results or the Shared with me, Recent or Starred menu views to see one of these two new options in the toolbar menu:

    • Choose Add to My Drive if the item is not already stored in My Drive.
    • Use the new Move to button to organize files that are already stored in My Drive but you need to move them to a different folder.
    • Drag and drop items from your Search results directly into a folder.
  • Locate files quickly in Docs, Sheets and Slides
    • Search for a specific document from your Docs, Sheets or Slides home page.
      See Top Results, which contains all file types that match your search criteria.
    • Based on the application you are using, a second section of results will then appear, listing either Recent Documents, Recent Sheets or Recent Slides.

To learn more about these enhancements and other new Google features, check out the latest edition of What’s New In Google Apps.

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06: Master OIT workshops to become a Google Apps pro!
Upcoming OIT training events include:

  • Gmail: Advanced Productivity will be offered on Tuesday, Feb. 23 and Wednesday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Building on Gmail: More than your Inbox, this advanced hands-on workshop takes Gmail to the next level. You will learn more about labels, filters, canned responses, scheduling Google Calendar Events, Hangouts, and using Google Drive through Gmail, along with any planned or newly released features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Forms: Data Collection and Analysis will be offered on Tuesday, March 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Easily build surveys, plan events and gather data with Google Forms. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of creating forms, collaborative editing, and viewing data in spreadsheets and charts. You’ll also learn advanced features such as custom themes, page breaks, question validation, and embedding forms in websites. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: More than your Inbox will be offered on Thursday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. There is more to Gmail than just composing, replying and forwarding messages. This workshop will provide an in-depth overview of Gmail features including an emphasis on labels and search tools, contacts management, chat, tasks, settings, labs, and new features. To register, visit Classmate
  • Google Calendar: Advanced Productivity will be offered on Wednesday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop will focus on Calendar (e.g., my calendar, other calendars, mini calendar), event details and calendar management. Specific features will include event attachments, maps and directions, sharing and embedding calendars, labs, quick add, search options, mobile notifications, scheduling Hangouts (video conferencing), and more. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Hangouts: Video Conferencing and More will be offered on Tuesday, March 15 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Join us for this fun and interactive workshop to learn about Google Hangouts. Hangouts is Google’s free Web conferencing tool that allows you to communicate with others on campus or around the globe via video, audio and text messaging. Learn how to use the Hangouts platform to share your screen, share documents, add a personalized banner, and download apps that offer additional helpful features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Accelerated Gmail will be offered on Thursday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Hold on tight as a trainer from the Office of Information Technology races through the most beneficial tools Gmail has to offer. This three-hour session covers the basic and advanced features of Gmail including creating labels and filters and adding calendar events and tasks. To register, visit Classmate.

For other available training sessions, visit Classmate Scheduled Workshops. If you are interested in custom software training, complete the Custom Training Form. Email all training questions to classreg@ncsu.edu.

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07: SAR training scheduled for March 16
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held Wednesday, March 16 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. To register, visit Classmate.

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08: Guard your privacy offline!
When you think of identity theft, data breaches and credit card fraud, you think of online security risks. These risks exist offline as well. In this era of mass virtual information, more options and locations are available to share and view information than ever before. Your personal information and data are at risk even if you are not actively using the Internet.

Here are a few security measures you can take offline to guard your privacy:

  • Be aware of potential physical vulnerabilities that could make it easy for someone to access your devices or paper records. Limit the amount of personally identifiable information stored on your devices or in print form. Watch out for “shoulder surfers” when you are accessing sensitive records. Change your password for your devices and accounts often and choose strong passphrases that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Do not share, unless necessary, your Social Security number, address, phone number, or other personal information with companies, or others. This information may be used to steal your identity, violate your privacy or subject you to increased marketing spam.
  • Always keep your important documents (e.g., insurance cards, passport, driver’s license) in a safe place and out of view.
  • Shred banks statements, envelopes with addresses and documents with sensitive information when they are no longer needed.
  • Consider contacting the three major credit bureaus (EquiFax, Experian and TransUnion) and request that they do not share your personal information for marketing purposes. This will keep much of the influx of promotional offers out of your mailbox and reduce the chance of those messages from being intercepted by dumpster divers who may search through your trash.
  • Think about setting up at least one alternate mailing address. This could be a post office box or a UPS mailbox. This way you don’t have to share your permanent or real address when you transact business online.
  • Arm yourself with more security knowledge by watching brief SANS Securing the Human videos.

Criminals and other wrongdoers are always seeking opportunities to take advantage of any lapse in  security. Be safe and remember, your privacy will not guard itself.

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